Nonparametric control charts do not require knowledge about the shape of the underlying
distribution and can thus be attractive in certain situations. Two new Shewhart- type nonparametric control charts are proposed for monitoring the unknown location parameter of a continuous population in Phase II (prospective) applications. The charts are based on control limits given by two specified order statistics from a reference sample, obtained from a Phase I (retrospective) analysis, and using some runs-type signaling rules. The plotting statistic can be any order statistic in a Phase II sample; the median is used here for simplicity and robustness. Exact run length distributions of the proposed charts are derived using conditioning and some results from the theory of runs. Tables are provided for practical implementation of the charts for a given in-control average run length .ARL0/ between 300 and 500. Comparisons of the average run length ARL, the standard deviation of run length (SDRL) and some run length percentiles show that the charts have robust in-control performance and are more efficient when the underlying distribution is t (symmetric with heavier tails than the normal) or gamma (1, 1) (right-skewed). Even for the normal distribution, the new charts are quite competitive. An illustrative numerical
example is given. An added advantage of these charts is that they can be applied before all the data are collected which might lead to savings in time and resources in certain applications.